We will be having a community meeting to brainstorm and guide the selection of bands and callers for the 2016 Fall Dance Weekend. Everyone is welcome! The meeting will be Monday December 7, at 7pm. The location is the Panera Bread at 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
We invite everyone to submit their ideas in advance so that we can compile a list before the meeting. We will make this list available so that people can do research about bands and callers they haven’t heard before. Please take a moment to give us your ideas on the form here.
Thank you to everyone who attended the recent Fall Dance Weekend. To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and hope to see you next year!
We think the weekend was a great success. There were lots of moving parts, especially with the new venue. Thank you to everyone in the community who put in time and effort helping with snacks, decorations, publicity, venue set-up and clean-up, and everything else!
If you attended the weekend we want to know what you thought. You can fill out an online feedback form here.
We look forward to dancing with all of you at the weekly dances.
All are welcome at the family dance before the contra on Friday October 9! The dance will be at the Swisshelm Park Community Center (the same location as the contra) at 6pm. There will be a potluck at 7pm, and those who wish to are welcome to stay for the contra starting at 8.
The cost for the family dance is $5 per person, or $10 for the entire family.
Playspace will be available during the adult dance for parents who want to stay and share in the child care duties. No extra cost.
A big thank you to all who contributed towards our new sound system! We raised over $3,000 to get new sound equipment so that our bands and callers have the sound they deserve! Want to join the sound volunteer team that helps make our dance possible at the Friday night dances? Contact us here. We plan to run at least training workshop with the new system, so everyone can have a chance to learn in a low-stress environment.
The sound equipment we use at our dances is nearly 30 years old, and it’s time for an upgrade. A new mixer will be easier to operate, substantially easier to move around and set up, and more reliable. New speakers will provide substantially richer sound to everyone dancing, making the bands sound even more amazing. New monitors will allow the bands to more accurately and pleasantly hear their own sound and enjoy performing for us.
We are running a fundraiser to raise the money necessary to replace these components of the sound system, as well as a few odds and ends that bands frequently request that we can’t currently supply. We are hoping to raise $3000 for this project. If you would like to contribute using a credit card, click on the buttons below to donate securely through Stripe. You can also donate at the dances during the month of May.
Online registration (and paper registration!) is open for the 2015 Fall Dance Weekend. Information about the weekend, and the details about how to register are available on the Fall Dance Weekend page. Register by October 16 for the early bird rate!
This year we are in a new, bigger location in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. Twice the space, and proximity to public transit, restaurants, hotels, museums and more. We hope to see you at the weekend November 6-8, dancing to the music of Maivish and the Free Raisins and the calling of Rick Mohr and Mary Wesley!
Do you want to help make the Pittsburgh contra dance happen? Not sure how to get involved? We are actively looking for volunteers to help with a wide variety of roles. No matter how much of a time commitment you are able to make, we can use your help. Some examples of volunteer jobs available:
- Sound board operators
- Opening the hall, closing the hall
- Collecting, counting, and depositing the money from the desk
- Assisting with set-up and clean-up
- Making the announcements
- Scheduling for volunteers
and more. Some of these tasks require some training. For many of them we are looking for back-up people who know the job and can cover for others when needed. We have many members of the community who are doing or have done these tasks who will be happy to help you learn.
If you want to volunteer and don’t currently know what you can do, contact Bronwyn who will put you in touch with the right people for whatever tasks seem best to you.
This Friday we will begin our election process for the new Contra Council. Ballots will be available at the dance for the next 3 weeks (Feb. 27, Mar. 6, Mar. 13). You may vote once. Check out this page to see pictures of the volunteers who are willing to serve!
At the dance on January 16, the community approved the bylaws that establish a contra council. The council is a 9 member group responsible for operating and improving the dance. The council members will be jointly covering tasks such as
- implementing ideas for improving the dance
- organizing volunteers to manage the hall, run sound, book talent, maintain the website, organize rides, lead publicity, and all the other tasks that need to happen for the dance to be successful
- managing the financial wellbeing of the dance
- responding to community feedback, concerns and questions
Since we want the council members to have staggered terms, the first council will be split into thirds based on term length. 3 people will be elected for 1 year, 3 people for 2 years, and 3 people for 3 years. If you are interested in participating for a shorter 1 or 2 year term but still getting the opportunity to help lead our dance, this is your chance!
We are now seeking community members interested in running for a seat on the council. The group who wrote the bylaws will be serving as a nominating committee to organize the slate and run the election. If you wish to be considered for membership on the board, email Gaye or Bronwyn or talk to any of us in person (Gaye, Bronwyn, John, Linda, Paula, Ted, Jo).
Considering feedback from the community survey, a group of volunteers has created a set of bylaws establishing a committee to help organize and operate the dances. The proposed bylaws are available here (bylaws). There will be a vote to approve these bylaws at the dance on January 16, 2015.